The CEO of Dole Food of the US yesterday [Sunday] offered to buy the 76% stake in the world's largest producer of fresh fruits that he does not already own for about US$1.26bn in cash. David Murdock, who is also chairman of Dole, said he would also assume the company's outstanding debt, bringing the value of his bid to $2.5bn. At $29.50 per share, the offer represents a 21% premium on Dole's closing price on the New York Stock Exchange of $24.49.